Manchester United can still win title says Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would prefer to be helping Manchester United's players land their 19th league championship than standing on the sidelines hoping they can do it.

The legendary United forward will grace Old Trafford again on Saturday when he turns out for the Red Devils as part of 'United Relief Live: The Big Red Family Day Out'.

But Solskjaer is acutely aware the main event this weekend comes 24 hours later, when United head to Sunderland desperately hoping old enemies Liverpool have done them a favour an hour earlier by beating title favourites Chelsea at Anfield.

If Liverpool have done the business, United will suddenly find themselves installed as title favourites. If Chelsea win, Carlo Ancelotti's men will almost certainly land the prize.

It promises to be a nail-biter, with Solskjaer admitting the best place to be is on the pitch.

"It is not so bad as a player," said the Norwegian.

"You are looking forward to the games and, in a sense, you are in charge of your own destiny.

"As a coach and a fan it is worse because you are standing on the outside. All you can do is stand there and hope.

"We still have a chance. We had that dreadful week where we went out against Bayern Munich and then drew with Blackburn.

"But you can't feel sorry for yourself. It was time to respond and we have. We are in with a shout, which is where we wanted to be."

Having retired almost three years ago after finally giving up the struggle of battling through constant pain from a succession of knee injuries, Solskjaer is certain of an enthusiastic welcome from the fans who turn out on Saturday to see a game that will feature a reunion of 1999 Champions League final heroes.

Apart from Solskjaer, who scored that memorable last-second winner against Bayern Munich, Denis Irwin, Jaap Stam, Ronny Johnsen, Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke will also be involved against a 'Rivals' team featuring the likes of Ian Rush and John Barnes, plus the usual smattering of celebrities.

There will also be musical performances from The Saturdays, Tinchy Stryder and Flawless, with the game kicking off at 3pm.

It seems amazing to consider Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville could have easily been part of the occasion as well.

Instead, they are ploughing on with their stellar careers, still performing to the level Solskjaer got used to as their team-mate.

"I am so pleased for them," said Solskjaer.

"I was forced to retire and was happy the day it happened.

"All players have to look at themselves in the mirror and ask whether they can perform at the same level.

"The three of them have been outstanding. The comeback Gary has made after all those injuries has been amazing.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he went to the World Cup with England."

Solskjaer is now carving out a coaching career for himself and guided United to the reserve team title this season.

There has already been plenty of speculation about him branching out into the senior ranks in the near future, although the Norwegian insists he has no grand plan.

"When I went into professional football I wanted to be the best I could be," he said. "When I went into coaching it was the same.

"Where that leads me I don't know. When I was 12 I could never have imagined I would end up at Manchester United for so long."

Solskjaer certainly has no intention of relying on his reputation as a player.

"You don't want to have a coaching career based on what you did as a player," he said.

"You want to be recognised for your ability as a coach.

"The experiences I had as a player helps me but the players here will soon find you out if you are a fraudster."

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all